Feline Health Recommendations
KITTEN EXAM/ANNUAL EXAM: We highly encourage having your new kitten examined within 48 hours of arriving at your home. Finding any existing issues quickly after purchase helps you to resolve them with the breeder. Getting your new kitten off to a good start following our recommendations sets him/her (and you) up for success. We provide a comprehensive physical exam every time your cat visits us, that exam helps find growing problems early when they are easiest and least expensive to resolve.
Cats should be seen on a yearly bases to receive vaccinations.
PACKAGES: We have packages that help you control the expenses of having a cat. Click here to explore this option.
FELINE LEUKEMIA (FELV) TEST: Feline Leukemia is a fatal cancer of the blood that can be caused by Feline Leukemia Virus (commonly spread among outdoor cats, through bodily fluids). We recommend testing kittens and adult cats of unknown status for FELV.
When bringing a new cat into the home we recommend testing for Feline Leukemia prior to introducing he/she to existing household cats.
VACCINATIONS: Our core vaccinations for feline patients are Rabies and Distemper (RCCP). FELV (Leukemia) vaccine should be given to cats that may have exposure to outdoor cats.
- Distemper (RCCP):
This vaccine helps protect your cat from the viruses that cause upper respiratory infections (runny eyes, sneezing, cold sores in the mouth, fever, appetite loss).Since these infections are caused by viruses treatment after illness occurs is difficult. These infection occur in both indoor and outdoor cats.
- Starting at 6 weeks of age - Given at 6, 9, 12, and 15 weeks, followed by annual boosters.
- Starting at >8 Weeks of age - Given at 8, 12, and 15 weeks followed by annual boosters.
- Annual booster for adults.
Rabies can kill people. The chance of any of our patients getting rabies and spreading it to a person is very low, but the end result if it happens is very severe, so it is legally required. Patients who are not current for this vaccine may represent a legal liability for their owners.
- Given at 12 weeks of age, one year later, and then every 3 years thereafter.
(See “Leukemia Test” for information on this virus)
- Given at 8 and 12 weeks of age followed by annual boosters based on risk of exposure to outside cats.
- Annual booster for adults.
INTESTINAL WORMS: The most common intestinal worms (roundworms and hookworms) can also infest people, worming your pet monthly helps to protect your family and your pet.
- Kittens: Should be de-wormed at least twice at 6 and 8 weeks of age.
- Adults: Adult cats should be de-wormed monthly with either an oral wormer or topical Revolution.
FLEA, TICK, and EAR MITE CONTROL: Fleas also bite people and can transmit disease, controlling fleas monthly helps to protect your family and your pet. Ear mite infestations are common in cats; monthly control also helps avoid this disease.
- Revolution: a small amount of liquid that is placed on the skin over the cat’s shoulder blades. This product is applied monthly to control fleas, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms and prevent heartworm disease.
- Frontline: a small amount of liquid that is placed on the skin over the cat’s shoulder blades. This product is applied monthly to control fleas and ticks.
HEARTWORM: Heartworm disease occurs in cats and can cause coughing and asthma type symptoms or even sudden death. There is no treatment for feline heartworm disease so prevention is the best approach.
- Revolution: Prevents heartworm disease and controls fleas, ear mites, roundworms and hookworms.
SPAY or NEUTERING: Recommended between 4 and 6 months of age (before puberty). Decreases the incidence of certain cancers and undesirable behaviors. Also, cats that are not spayed or neutered are more likely to roam, having them spayed or neutered reduces the risk of being hit by a car, fighting with other animals, and other injuries.
DECLAWING: Cats provide an important bond with their owners. Declawing house cats that destroy furniture, etc allows them to live a long life in the good care of their owner. Outdoor cats need their claws for protection and should not be declawed. This procedure can be performed at 4 to 6 months of age. Other ways to manage cats desire to scratch include trimming nails or applying a “cap” over the nail to limit damage (example Soft Paws). Providing and training cats to use scratching posts or similar toys is another option.
NUTRITION: We recommend Science Diet. Kittens should be given a high quality kitten food at least three times daily until 1 year of age. A high quality adult food should be fed between 1 and 7 years of age. Starting at 7 years of age a high quality senior food is recommended. Most adult cats should be fed at least twice daily (utilizing the guidelines on the food bag are useful when determining an amount), but not free choice. Develop “household” feeding habits that promote a healthy weight for your cat.
MICROCHIP: A microchip is a very small chip placed under the skin above the shoulder blades. It provides permanent identification in case your cat is lost and the collar/tags come off (many clients put tear away collars to prevent choking if the cat gets caught on something) or if the collar is removed (especially if your cat is stolen). Most animal shelters use microchip scanners, and we scan every stray cat that is brought to our clinic.
SENIOR BLOOD PROFILE: We recommend a yearly blood test to screen for liver/kidney problems and diabetes starting at the age of six. We are unable to tell if these problems persist from the outside. Early intervention and treatment for liver/kidney disease and diabetes is important.